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The News Matrix: Saturday 7 July 2012

Clinton in new plea for global sanctions

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton pleaded once more for global sanctions as Syria's president Bashar al-Assad was rocked by the defection of a top aide. It came amid claims that Syrian forces killed at least 25 people while seizing the city of Khan Sheikhoun. MORE

Osborne and Balls clash worries No 10

Downing Street has sought to ensure that David Cameron does not become associated with the dispute between George Osborne and Ed Balls. One MP said the pair appeared to have an "obsession" with each other. Another called their clashes "unedifying". MORE

Minister refuses to discuss concerns

The immigration minister, Damian Green, has been accused of "standing in the way of justice" after refusing to meet a cross-party delegation to discuss extradition arrangements with America. Critics of the current policy claim it is weighted against the rights of UK citizens.

Major crackdown on child trafficking

Police in China have arrested 802 people on suspicion of child trafficking and rescued 181 youngsters in a massive operation spanning 15 provinces. The Ministry of Public Security said the operation was set up earlier this year after local police detected signs of trafficking. MORE

Theresa May: better candidates needed

Theresa May wants an advertising campaign to encourage better police chief candidates to come forward. The Home Secretary is thought to be alarmed by the prospect of dismal turnouts in November's elections. One Whitehall source admitted: "The policy is in disarray". MORE

Woman accused of being femme fatale

A 24-year-old Mexican woman has gone on trial in the US accused of seducing rich men and leading them back to her house where they were kidnapped by a drugs gang and held for ransom. Nancy Mendoza Moreno claims she is a victim of mistaken identity. MORE

President will be impeached

Romanian lawmakers have voted overwhelmingly to impeach President Traian Basescu on grounds that he overstepped his authority by meddling in government business and legal affairs. A referendum will allow voters to decide if he should be ousted from the presidency.

U2 star's assistant sent to jail for theft

The former personal assistant to U2 star Adam Clayton has been sentenced to seven years in prison after embezzling £2.2m of the bassist's money. Carol Hawkins was convicted last week on 181 counts of theft from the guitarist's bank accounts over a four-year period. MORE

Zimmerman leaves jail on $1m bail

The neighbourhood watch volunteer accused of killing Trayvon Martin, a black teenager, in Florida has left jail after raising the $1m bail set by a judge. He raised $20,000 from donations from supporters on a website in 24 hours alone. Zimmerman maintains he shot Martin in self-defence.

Sussex chief faces misconduct probe

Sussex Police Chief Constable Martin Richards is being investigated over an allegation he used "undue influence" in relation to an active criminal investigation. The incident was referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission by Sussex Police Authority last month.

National grading for teenagers

Teenagers could be told whether they have come top in the whole country or 200,000th in their exams in future. Education Secretary Michael Gove is investigating whether to introduce a national grading system of pupils in the new O-level-style exam he is proposing.

Unemployment rate is a blow to Obama

President Barack Obama's re-election campaign took another hit after US employers added a mere 80,000 new jobs in June. Mitt Romney, the Republican challenger in the presidential race, seized on the news as evidence that Mr Obama's economic policies were failing. MORE

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